Category Archives: Buying Guide

snom 821 UC Phone Now MS Lync Certified!

Exciting news – snom announced today that their Apollo UC edition firmware is now qualified for Microsoft Lync!

The snom UC edition firmware is an optional software module for the snom phone/devices in their Unified Communications portfolio.  It combines the advantage of open standards-based IP telephony by using SIP protocal to seamlessly integrate with UC client apps such as Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Lync and as well as other SIP based IPPBX in parallel.

snom 821 phone

The first to receive “Qualified for Microsoft Lync” certification is their snom 821 desktop phone, now available to be configured with their new Apollo firmware. Unique Lync phone features of the snom 821 UC edition with Apollo firmware includes: Speed and simplify Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Enterprise Voice deployment and operation in multi-site business environments, added music on hold, and boss/admin and presence buttons. Over the next few weeks, snom expects their entire UC portfolio running Apollo firmware to also receive the Microsoft Lync certification including snom 300 and 370 UC editions.

Quick overview of the snom UC portfolio to begin your search for that perfect UC solution:

snom 821 UC edition – With color display and advanced presence features integrated with call history and contact lists, it’s recommended for information workers.

snom 870 UC edition – snom’s latest innovation with completely redesigned new touchscreen with unique and intuitive user interface; perfect for modern people who requires user friendly high tech functions.

snom 300 UC edition – Recommended for entry-level users who just need a simple phone with basic features in areas such as lobbies, hallways, closets and cafeterias where a lot of UC functionality isn’t required.

snom 320 UC edition – An affordable yet powerful SIP phone with built in, full-duplex speakerphone and 3-party conference bridging – recommended for medium to heavy phone users.

snom 370 UC edition – Has high audio quality, is easy to use, secured by VPN capabilities and interperability, has expanded memory capacity and contact status display so it is recommended for anyone who needs to transfer calls frequently such as receptionists or others including SMEs, home office, private users or ISP applications.

snom UC600 – A Lync-optimized USB phone peripheral device that’s basically a phone/handset attached to PC. It allows user to use a traditional style phone/handset to maintain that familiar feel, while the calls are actually being handled by the PC with Microsoft Lync 2010 client app installed.

snom PA1 – snom’s paging device that unites the functions of a phone with high-performance digital amplifier for broadcasting annoucements and supplying background music to assigned rooms, hallways and office floors.

snom MeetingPoint – The only SIP conference phone that allows user to use MS Office Communication Server 2007 R2 and standard SIP accounts in parallel.

 snom UC editions

Snom’s UC edition phones are available at The Telecom Spot, and for the latest release of snom’s Apollo firmware (8.8.1.11) please visit http://www.snom.com/en/lync

Questions? As always we love to hear from you!  Leave a comment below, or contact one of our helpful consultants today and see how these UC edition phones can help with your business operations and that all important bottom line savings.

NEC SL1100 or DSX?

NEC SL1100 or DSX?  Which is better? -That’s a question we hear often.

Both are great reliable small business phone systems at an affordable price, it only depends on what specific features you’re looking for.  Generally speaking NEC SL1100 has everything NEC DSX has plus longer warranty period, but the initial programming/set-up is more involved.  We’ve outlined a few key differences below for quick reference along with additional resources.

NEC SL1100

NEC SL1100

  • More sophisticated solution available than DSX (desktop integration, multi-site networking, ACD etc)
  • Initial programming/set-up is more difficult – although they now offer set-up kits
  • Supports more IP technologies
  • Mobility options – remain reachable on the same number remotely
  • 5-year warranty

 

NEC DSX

NEC DSX

  • Great value & proven
  • Easier initial programming/set-up
  • Reliable small business system for one site
  • No advanced features available such as desktop integration, multi-site networking, or ACD
  • 2-year warranty

Additional Resources

Think about what you need in your business in evaluting which phone system to go with.  If you need any help, don’t hesistate to contact one of our helpful consultants here in determining which system is right for you!

3CX – Software PBX for Windows

3CX

Let 3CX IP phone system solve your PBX headaches. 

3CX is a Windows based virtual PBX that can completely replace your traditional hardware PBX.  It supports standard SIP phones, VoIP services and PSTN phone lines; and replacing your current system with 3CX may save you money as it not only cost less than hardware PBX but can also reduce your overall calling costs via VoIP services.  It is easy to manage and configure via web administration and it does not require phone wiring networks which allows users to easily telecommute.

How 3CX Works:

3CX phone system is an open system that can grow with your business needs.  A complete system for Windows – it is made up by server software, soft or IP phones and a VoIP gateway to connect existing phone lines (or you can also use analog phones by utilizing FXS gateways).  Phone bills can be reduced by working with a VoIP service provider.  Use either existing computer wiring and non-dedicated Windows server or run as virtual machine.  It’s also easy to add extensions or lines by adding standard SIP telephony equipment via 3CX phone system’s easy web-based admin configuration. 

How 3CX Works

Main Features include:

  • All-in-one phone system including call switching, routing & queuing
  • Lower purchase cost than a traditional hardware PBX
  • Scalable – Unlimited numbers of extensions and phone lines without need of proprietary expansion modules
  • Simple phone system management via 3CX’ web-based configuration module
  • Unified Communications – Receive voice mail via e-mail & see user presence
  • Auto Attendant available
  • Reduce long distance and inter office call costs by using VoIP service
  • Uses standard SIP phones which eliminate need of expensive proprietary system phones
  • Freedom of choice: tested interoperability with leading SIP hardware & VoIP providers
  • Lack of phone wiring makes moving offices easier
  • Simple call control, presence and extension management
  • Click to Dial & Call Pop-up for Microsoft Outlook
  • Can receive and make calls via standard PSTN using VoIP Gateways or cards
  • Reduce monthly call expenses using SIP trunks, VoIP providers or Skype Connect!
  • Out of the box configuration for many VoIP providers, VoIP Gateways, Skype™ and IP Phones.

The 3CX Phone System is licensed based on the number of simultaneous calls (internal & external) that your company makes. All editions support an unlimited number of extensions. The Telecom Spot is a 3CX partner and you can purchase new licenses, support and upgrade insurance right here on our site or via phone.  For your convenience, we’ve included quick comparison charts below for quick reference and easy shopping. Have questions or would like help putting a package together?  Just leave a comment or contact one of our helpful consultants.

Jump to quick comparison charts:

3CX Phone System (Windows)

Part Number Product Edition Sim Calls MSRP
3CXPSMINI Mini Edition 4 495
3CXPSSB Small Business Edition 8 795
3CXPSPRO Professional Edition 16SC 16 1295
3CXPSENT Enterprise Edition 32SC 32 1995
3CXPSENT64 Enterprise Edition 64SC 64 3950
3CXPSENT128 Enterprise Edition 128SC 128 6995
3CXPSENT256 Enterprise Edition 256SC 256 11950
3CXPSENT512 Enterprise Edition 512SC 512 21995
3CXPSENT1024 Enterprise Edition 1024SC 1024 39595

 

3CX Phone System (with Call Center Module)

Part Number Product Edition Sim Calls MSRP
3CXCCMINI Mini Edition + Call Center Module 4 795
3CXCCSB Small Business Edition + Call Center Module 8 1195
3CXCCPRO Professional Edition 16SC + Call Center Module 16 1950
3CXCCENT Enterprise Edition 32SC + Call Center Module 32 2950
3CXCCENT64 Enterprise Edition 64SC + Call Center Module 64 5750
3CXCCENT128 Enterprise Edition 128SC + Call Center Module 128 10195
3CXCCENT256 Enterprise Edition 256SC + Call Center Module 256 17350
3CXCCENT512 Enterprise Edition 512SC + Call Center Module 512 31895
3CXCCENT1024 Enterprise Edition 1024SC + Call Center Module 1024 52950

 

3CX CRM Integration Module

Part Number Product Edition MSRP
CRMSFC 3CX CRM Integration Module for Salesforce – Per User 50
CRMDYN 3CX CRM Integration Module for Microsoft Dynamics – Per User 50
CRMSUG 3CX CRM Integration Module for SugarCRM – Per User 50
CRMACT 3CX CRM Integration Module for Sage Act! – Per User 50
CRMGGL 3CX CRM Integration Module for Google Contacts – Per User 50

 

Hotel Module

Include specific functions such as Check-IN, Check-Out & Wake up calls. Offered with or without Hotel Software (PMS) integration.

Part Number Product Edition MSRP
3CXH Hotel Module without PMS Integration 895
3CXHPMS Hotel Module with PMS Integration 3350

 

3CX Voice Application Designer (VAD)

3CX VAD is a visual designer to build voice applications for 3CX Phone System

Part Number Product Edition MSRP
3CXVAD 3CX Voice Application Designer 995

 

Upgrade Insurance

Part Number Upgrade Insurance – 1 Year MSRP
3CXPSMINIUI Mini Edition 150
3CXPSSBUI Small Business Edition 195
3CXPSPROUI Professional Edition 16SC 295
3CXPSENTUI Enterprise Edition 32SC 495
3CXPSENT64UI Enterprise Edition 64SC 995
3CXPSENT128UI Enterprise Edition 128SC 1695
3CXPSENT256UI Enterprise Edition 256SC 2995
3CXPSENT512UI Enterprise Edition 512SC 5195
3CXCCMINIUI Mini Edition + Call Center Module 195
3CXCCSBUI Small Business Edition + Call Center Module 295
3CXCCPROUI Professional Edition 16SC + Call Center Module 485
3CXCCENTUI Enterprise Edition 32SC + Call Center Module 735
3CXCCENT64UI Enterprise Edition 64SC + Call Center Module 1435
3CXCCENT128UI Enterprise Edition 128SC + Call Center Module 2545
3CXCCENT256UI Enterprise Edition 256SC + Call Center Module 4335
3CXCCENT512UI Enterprise Edition 512SC + Call Center Module 7995
CRMSFCUI CRM Integration Module for Salesforce Upgrade Insurance 25
CRMDYNUI CRM Integration Module for Microsoft Dynamics Upgrade Insurance 25
CRMSUGUI CRM Integration Module for SugarCRM Upgrade Insurance 25
CRMACTUI CRM Integration Module for Sage ACT! Upgrade Insurance 25
3CXHUI Hotel Module without PMS Integration 275
3CXHPMSUI Hotel Module with PMS Integration 995
3CXVADUI 3CX Voice Application Designer 395

 

Product Support

Part Number Product Support from 3CX – 1 Year MSRP
3CXPSMINIES Mini Edition 210
3CXPSSBES Small Business Edition 210
3CXPSPROES Professional Edition 16SC 350
3CXPSENTES Enterprise Edition 32SC 553
3CXPSENT64ES Enterprise Edition 64SC 553
3CXPSENT128ES Enterprise Edition 128SC 833
3CXPSENT256ES Enterprise Edition 256SC 1395
3CXPSENT512ES Enterprise Edition 512SC 2495
3CXPSENT1024ES Enterprise Edition 1024SC 4450
3CXVADES 3CX Voice Application Designer 195
3CXAPIES 3CX API 2695
3CXHES 3CXH Hotel Module Support (basic functions only) 155
3CXHPMSES 3CXHPMS Product Support (advanced functions and PMS integration) 1295

 

 

Edition Upgrades

Part number Description MSRP
3CXPSMINITOSB Mini upgrade to Small Business Edition 628
3CXPSSBTOPRO SB upgrade to Professional 16SC Edition 858
3CXPSSBTOENT SB upgrade to Enterprise 32SC Edition 1,558
3CXPSPROTOENT PRO upgrade to Enterprise 32SC Edition 1,348
3CXPSPRO24TOENT PRO24 upgrade to Enterprise 32SC Edition 1,098
3CXPSPRO24TOENT64 PRO24 upgrade to Enterprise 64SC Edition 3,053
3CXPSENTTOENT64 ENT upgrade from 32SC to 64SC 2,953
3CXPSENTTOENT128 ENT upgrade from 32SC to 128SC 5,998
3CXPSENTTOENT256 ENT upgrade from 32SC to 256SC 10,953
3CXPSENT64TOENT128 ENT upgrade from 64SC to 128SC 5,020
3CXPSENT64TOENT256 ENT upgrade from 64SC to 256SC 9,975
3CXPSENT128TOENT256 ENT upgrade from 128SC to 256SC 8,453

 

Call Center Module Edition Upgrades

Part number Description MSRP
3CXPSMINITOCC Mini Edition Upgrade to Edition with Call Center Module 350
3CXPSSBTOCC Small Business Edition Upgrade to Edition with Call Center Module 495
3CXPSPROTOCC Professional Edition 16SC Upgrade to Edition with Call Center Module 695
3CXPSENTTOCC Enterprise Edition Upgrade to Edition with Call Center Module 995
3CXPSENT64TOCC Enterprise Edition 64SC Upgrade to Edition with Call Center Module 1,995
3CXPSENT128TOCC Enterprise Edition 128SC Upgrade to Edition with Call Center Module 3,495
3CXPSENT256TOCC Enterprise Edition 256SC Upgrade to Edition with Call Center Module 5,495
3CXPSENT512TOCC Enterprise Edition 512SC Upgrade to Edition with Call Center Module 9,995

Version Upgrades

Version upgrades (from the old to the new version), for customers who have not purchased or renewed Upgrade Insurance in time and brings them back onto an Upgrade Insurance track for a year.

Part number Description MSRP
3CXPSMINIVU Mini upgrade Version 7-10 to 11 (incl. 1 year upgrade insurance) 396
3CXPSSBVU SB upgrade Version 3-10 to 11 (incl. 1 year upgrade insurance) 636
3CXPSPROVU PRO16SC upgrade Version 3-10 to 11 (incl. 1 year upgrade insurance) 1,036
3CXPSPRO24VU PRO24SC upgrade Version 7-10 to 11 (incl. 1 year upgrade insurance) 1,436
3CXPSENTVU ENT32SC  upgrade Version 3-10 to 11 (incl. 1 year upgrade insurance) 1,596
3CXPSENT64VU ENT64SC  upgrade Version 5-10 to 11 (incl. 1 year upgrade insurance) 3,160
3CXPSENT128VU ENT128SC  upgrade Version 5-10 to 11 (incl. 1 year upgrade insurance) 5,596
3CXPSENT256VU ENT256SC  upgrade Version 7-10 to 11 (incl. 1 year upgrade insurance) 9,560
3CXPSENT512VU ENT512SC  upgrade Version 7-9 to 10 (incl. 1 year upgrade insurance) 17,596

 

Hotel Module Version Upgrades

Part number Description MSRP
3CXHVU Version Upgrade Hotel Module Basic (incl. 1 year Upgrade Insurance) 695
3CXHPMSVU Version Upgrade Hotel Module with PMS Integration (incl. 1 year Upgrade Insurance) 1,250

 

Why Video Conference? Read About Some of its Top Benefits

Still haven’t made the leap to video conferencing?  Well it’s time to consider with all the benefits video conferencing could bring to your business or organization.  One of our customers were able to save over $30,000/year in travel expenses by reducing the need to travel from branch-to-branch with one of our video conferencing solutions.

Based on Polycom’s research, some top benefits are:

  1. Reduced travel costs
    • By substituting routine business trips with video conferencing – you get all the benefit of face-to-face meeting without the cost of traveling.
  2. Increased productivity
    • The time saved from traveling could be put to better use on other business matters.
    • By using video conferencing to conduct distant meetings instead of non-visual methods like emails/instant messaging/phone calls, your workforce could better understand and  collaborate with their colleagues based on additional visual cues.
  3. Improved hiring and retention of top talent for your work force
    • Instead of paying for the recruiter or candidates to travel for interviews, organizations could reduce time and expenses to conduct the interview over video conferencing either from their own home or via satellite offices.
    • Additionally, video conferences could be recorded for post-analysis instead of relying on pure memory or notes taken during the interview process to assist in the hiring decision.
  4. Sustained competitive advantage
    • Workforce can communicate via video to share knowledge and improve communication/collaboration.
    • Sales and support forces can also utilize video conferencing to engage their customer/clients and built the personal relationship needed for the business.
    • Video also allows executives to appeal directly to numerous audiences at once in their pipeline.
  5. Green technology
    • And of course, by communicating over video the need for travel is reduced along with the associated carbon foot print.

Okay, so the benefits of video conferencing are clear but where do we start?  It is important to incorporate the right video conferencing solution for your business or organization so we’ve selected a couple of our favorite models for your consideration.  You can also browse our entire video conferencing selections at The Telecom Spot, or talk with one of our helpful consultants about your conferencing needs.

AVer HVC310 (Model: COMMSH310)

 

Polycom VVX 1500 (Model: 2200-180691-025)

 

AVer HVC310 COMMSH310 Polycom VVX 1500 2200-180691-025
The Aver HVC310 is the most versatile HD video conferencing solution on the market today. It combines premium features such as full duplex audio, HDMI, multi-site conferencing and recording into a single budget-friendly, easy-to-use system. The included 3-year warranty with one year of advanced replacement is an AVer exclusive, and a testament to their solution’s reliability.

Core Features:

  • Full duplex audio and echo cancellation for unmatched voice clarity
  • HDMI connectivity provides full digital HD video conferencing
  • External microphone support is perfect for presentations and lectures
  • Share content wirelessly from your desktop with ScreenShare software
  • Transform your mobile device into a system remote and share images using our VCLink mobile app
  • Industry’s only 3-year warranty, including one year of advanced replacement and 2-way shipping
  • Precision 7x optical zoom PTZ auto focus 5 megapixel camera ideal for a variety of conferencing environments
  • Powerful codec produces amazing HD full motion video even with limited bandwidth
  • Dual display support for versatile viewing using two monitors
  • Embedded 4-way multipoint control unit (MCU)
  • Direct to USB flash drive recording to capture live video and content for training or review
  • Exclusive Snapshot captures crisp high resolution snapshots to save or share
  • RS-232 support for seamless integration with podium controls

 

Read more at http://www.thetelecomspot.com/aver-hvc310.html

 

The first business media phone that combines advanced telephony, one-touch video, and integrated business applications into a seamless, lifelike experience. The Polycom VVX 1500 comes bundled with several applications including the Polycom Productivity Suite, which enables users to initiate and control audio conference calls right from the device’s screen as well as record calls locally using a flash drive in the phone’s USB port.

The Polycom VVX 1500 also features a free Web service called My Info Portal through which customers can select to receive content such as local weather reports and other personalized information on the screen when the device is not in a voice or video call.

Core Features:

  • Intuitive, color touch-screen interface for voice, video and applications
  • Six-line, feature-rich phone with Polycom HD Voice
  • Instant, one-touch business-grade video conferencing right from the desktop
  • Adjustable camera, base, and display to suit the environment and provide eye-level visual interactions
  • Highly customizable applications platform with open Polycom API, integrated full browser and USB 2.0 for applications
  • Bundled with productivity and personalization applications, including Polycom Productivity Suite, Polycom My Info Portal and Digital Photo Frame
  • Deep IP PBX integration with leading SIP-based IP PBX and Softswitch Platforms
  • Integrated Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) switch for bandwidth-intensive applications
  • IEEE 802.3af powered at under 11W maximum for a “green” world
  • Smart motion detection to enable the screen to go to power-save mode when no one is in the office

 

And did we mention there’s a $100 trade-in rebate offer available thru 12/31/2012?  See more at http://www.thetelecomspot.com/polycom-vvx-1500.html

 

Phoenix Audio Quattro3 Comparison Guide

Shopping for new conference phones but not sure where to start? Consider the popular Quattro3 from Phoenix Audio. The hardware and software design of the Quattro speakerphone provide it with extended range of audio pickup and broadcasting to cover larger spaces without the use of satellite microphones or speakers. Phoenix Audio Quattro3

The Phoenix Audio Quattro3 is an upgraded version from their Quattro2 conference phones and incorporates the latest in digital signal processing and technologies.  Most noticeable are the relocating the connectors to underneath the units for easier “under table installations”, embedded daisy chain interface, improved performance, and built-in dial pad options.

Take a look at the Quattro3 quick overview chart below to see which one would best fit your needs:

USB MT301 PSTN MT302 Smart MT303 Power MT304 IP Phone MT305

(Coming soon)

 Connection  USB  USBPhone line (PSTN)  USBAnalog cable to “smart” device  USB  USBEthernet cable
 Bridge  Between USB and PSTN  Between USB and “smart” device  Between USB & IP Telephone
 Daisy Chainable (Expand Up to 15 Units)
 Single Source Daisy Chain Powering
 Fully Functional Dial Pad w/ LCD Screen
 Echo Cancelling & Noise Suppression
 4-Microphone Beam-forming Array
 Full Duplex Communication
 Automatic Voice-Level Adjustment (AGC)
 De-reverb
 Automatic Gain Control
 Interchangeable interface modules
 Durable Aluminum Casing
 Battery Talk-time (w/secondary  interface) 7hrs 7hrs 7hrs 7hrs
 PC (Windows/Linux) & Mac Compatible
 Small/Home Office
 Small to Large Rooms
 Class or Training Rooms
 Smartphone / Tablet Conferencing

We hope the comparison chart above has been helpful for you, but if there are any questions please feel free to contact one of our helpful consultants or leave a comment below.  We love to hear from you!

How to Choose a Phone System Starter Guide

There are a lot of phone systems, and with so many options available, it’s easy to get lost searching for the right solution. In this section we will cover most of the major points needed to take into consideration so you can shop smart for that perfect phone system.

Questions?

The best way to help yourself is to do some pre-planning and develop a clear understanding of what your needs are. In order to do this take the time to answer the following check-list:

  • How many incoming lines do you need right now?
  • How many incoming lines do you need in the near future?
  • How many stations do you need right now?
  • How many stations do you need in the near future?
  • Do you need voicemail right now and how many users does it need facilitate?
  • How many users in the future?
  • Do you need your voicemail to answer with an auto attendant for one company? Two? More?
  • Will you need to expand to something like a T-1 or PRI in the future?
  • How much money can you realistically invest in this equipment?


Taking time to consider the above questions can save you serious money AND frustration.
Planning your needs and doing research will definitely focus your search and lead you to the best system with minimum hassle.

Now, let’s expand on some of the above questions to get a better understanding.

Many of you shopping with us will more than likely be replacing your old phone system. You might be starting from scratch, but the basic question persists-How many phone lines do I need? Your old phone system might clue you in. Answer that question the best you can. A range is fine too. 3-6, 5-12, 15-20.

Next, consider what kind of phones you need. Really think about what it is that your employees really DO all day. Think through what each phone in your office must be able to do. For example, desks with sales people require a phone with capabilities far reaching beyond a phone at the bar of a restaurant or in an auto shop. What are you employees call requirements and HOW MANY are there? Which phones need displays? Which phones NEED to be able to handle lots of phone lines AND speed dials. Need a phone in the guest room or lobby?

Our staff will be able to better advise you on which phone works great for each location and help you find a phone system that will grow as YOU need it. Which system will better fit into your budget for current needs. This keeps you from wasting money, which no one can afford to do. At this point, it’s time to map out your system on paper. Researching online helps and allows you explore the different name brand manufacturers, their phone systems, phones and voicemail units.  Or you can also use our helpful phone system quote form to help determine what would work best with your needs.

A good place to start your search is by simply clicking on the category links located on the left sidebar. Each category has a short, informative description which will give you a better feel of what each system is designed for. Alternatively, surfing to the manufacturer homepages is also a good way to find information, but you can also contact us and we’ll happily answer your questions.

What’s next?

Once you’ve covered the fundamental research, you should be ready to consider installation options(actually this is a *must*). Time, and again underestimating the difficulty involved leads many clients spending and losing more money then they could imagine.

We hope this has been helpful for you as you embark on the journey of choosing your perfect phone system.  If there’s anything we can do to help you along the way, please don’t hesistate to contact one of our helpful consultants here at The Telecom Spot.